It takes a nation to protect the nation
Two knifemen stabbed a man to death then ran into a mosque and 'washed their hands and faces' to blend in with worshippers, it emerged today.
The victim, a man in his 20s, was knifed to death yesterday evening, before his killers ran into London Central Mosque near Regent's Park to get away.
The murder is the 30th killing in the capital this year and comes amid growing fears UK knife crime is out of control.
Witnesses in the mosque have said the assailants pretended to be members of the congregation arriving for prayers, but then changed clothes in a toilet and disappeared
Police have said the incident is not terror-related and the killers are not linked to the mosque.
The victim, who was named locally as 'Zahir', is thought to have lived in a nearby estate.
A security guard at the mosque said the men, who were both white with long hair, washed their faces and feet to appear as if they were arriving for prayers.
He told The Evening Standard: 'We saw in the camera them changing clothes in the toilet area, one of them had a backpack and one of them had a side bag.
'They change from hoodies into shirts and trousers and throw the other clothes on the floor. The police have those.'
Police have not arrested any one over the attack, but raided flats in a nearby buildings today as the hunt the killers.
Met Police Commander Simon Rose said this morning: 'A man has lost his life in violent circumstance and we are working to identify the perpetrators as quickly as possible.
'We have been in close contact with the London Central Mosque since the incident happened. We thank them for their patience, cooperation and understanding.
'Friday prayers will today be going ahead with little or no disruption. We do not believe the incident is connected to the mosque.
'The incident is not believed to be terror-related. People can expect to see local officers out and about today and I would encourage anyone with worries or concerns to speak to them.'
A man in his 30s was stabbed in North London this morning as the capital's knife crime epidemic continues.
Police were called to a junction near Seven Sisters Underground station in Tottenham shortly after 6.30am and found the injured man.
Scotland Yard said no arrests have been made over the stabbing, which left the man with non-life threatening injuries.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: 'Police were called to High Road junction with Talbot Road at 6.35am on Friday following reports of a stabbing.
'Officers and London Ambulance Service attended and found a male aged in his thirties suffering from stab injuries.
'His injuries have been assessed as non-life threatening and non-life changing. No arrests have been made. Enquiries are ongoing.'
Last night, witnesses claimed two people were seen running into the mosque and officers later cordoned it off, believing the suspects had tried to hide there.
Officers searching the area cordoned off the London Central Mosque for more than five hours, with armed police at the gates as a helicopter circled overhead.
The cordon was finally moved at about 11.30pm, with the roads reopened and armed officers leaving the scene. Police said the attack was not terror-related.
Witness Bahir Moulana said that as he was walking towards the mosque the police were pushing people back before they closed the main gate.
With a number of armed officers at the scene, the 39-year-old said it gave him the 'jitters', especially following the recent attack at two mosques in New Zealand.
'I saw all the blue lights and my heart was in my mouth,' Mr Moulana said.
With worshippers eventually let out of the building, he added: 'There was one girl who said she saw two guys run in. Someone else told me the police were chasing them.'
Mr Moulana said he saw two people being detained and put in handcuffs by the police at the mosque. 'The police just surrounded them. I saw that at around 7pm,' he added.
At the scene on Cunningham Place, a large collection of used and discarded medical equipment, bloodied bandages, bags, and other items could be seen in the middle of the road.
The man's death was the 30th murder in London so far this year - and the 13th in March
The stabbing happened at the block of flats near the London Central Mosque in the capital
One neighbour, who did not want to be named, said: 'I looked out of the window at around 6.30pm and I saw him on the floor... he was already getting CPR.'
She added that before the incident she heard someone saying 'What happened? What have you done?' before she then went to see what was going on.
Karen Buck, Labour MP for Westminster North, said: 'Deeply saddened to hear this awful news. Police have been in contact with me and we await further details.'
A statement from the London Central Mosque shortly before 10.30pm yesterday said nobody there was hurt.
'All staff and attendees to the Mosque are safe our prayers are with the victim and his family. We look forward to seeing you all at Friday prayers tomorrow In Sha Allah,' it said.
The scene of the stabbing in London yesterday with paramedic gear strewn across the road
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: 'Enquiries continue to trace the suspects, who fled the scene. There have been no arrests.
'A crime scene is in place. Cordons include the nearby London Central Mosque. These cordons are likely to remain in place overnight.
'Detectives are urging any witnesses to the incident or anyone with information that may assist the investigation to speak to police officers at the scene, call 101 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 anonymously.'
A section of the A41 Park Road was closed off by police. No arrests have been made.